recipe

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Indigo Nutrition chocolate making kit

Published July 17, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Indigo Herbs are all about healthier lifestyles, healthy eating, superfoods and food for vegans. We were recently asked to try out one of their raw chocolate making kits. We are not a vegan family but we all love our chocolate treats so of course we agreed and then this box arrived. 


The kits start from £19.99 and contain all the ingredients needed to make our own "pure raw chocolate"


Raw chocolate is more healthier than the milk alternatives. Being a food suitable for vegans does mean no milk or dairy products are used. Therefore the finished chocolate is dark, stronger cocoa percentage and slightly more bitter than regular chocolate but it stlll tastes good. 

Have you ever wondered what gives good chocolate that wonderful chocolate smell? Well it's all down to this stuff! 

This being our melting organic cacao butter, it is known by other names too including cocoa butter and kakaw. From the moment I opened the packet I could instantly smell chocolate. This butter is 100% pure natural cacao derived straight from the cacao plant. It is one of the main ingredients in most chocolate products and is the ingredient which makes chocolate smell so good.

The butter is like small lumps of rock to begin with, it needs melting down to liquid and slowly too or the nutrients will be destroyed if heated too fast. Once melted we added the packet of raw vanilla powder and then all the cacao powder. Then it looked a bit more like chocolate.

With this kit we also got several small cake cases, but we also already had a few unused baking moulds lying around in the drawers, so this was a good excuse to get them out.

The chocolate mixture is poured into the moulds and we added some nuts and goji berries which are also included in the kit. Then put the moulds straight into the freezer to set. As chocolate does not really freeze, there is no risk of it spoiling if left too long. 

Raw chocolate does not taste as good when melted or when cooking with it. It tastes much better when set and ready to eat, so best not to lick the spoons with this stuff. 

And once set!


And that's not all of our raw chocolate creations either. We also found a quick yummy recipe on the Indigo herbs website for salted peanut butter cacao cups. These are really really easy and we happened to have half a jar of peanut butter in the cupboard too that needed using up.

Using the made raw chocolate mixture and the included cake cases, we poured a small amount of chocolate into each case and immediately placed them in the freezer to harden a little. Then took them out and placed a layer of peanut butter onto each one.


Followed by another layer of raw chocolate on top and back in the freezer for more time to set. These are just delicious and now I know how to make them, I will certainly be making some more.


There are several other raw chocolate recipes on the website, most of which just require the chocolate making kit and a few basic ingredients.

I found one main thing that differs with this raw chocolate as opposed to regular chocolate types is that it seems to melt much quicker, almost instantly after removing it from the freezer. It doesn't turn to mush in your hand but I could feel it start to melt very quickly. It's probably best kept in the freezer or a cold part of the fridge until ready for eating or using.

These kits are great and we have all enjoyed making and eating the chocolate. They can also make lovely gifts too. 

Num noms Crazy Creation

Published May 23, 2017 by Bizzimummy

It’s those Num Noms once again! Love them or hate them but it seems they are here to stay. Here are a few of the season 3 characters.


Again the little plastic collectables come with various bits, we get the Num and the nom but also lip balms, stamps and rubbers. 

Of course Num noms are all about food and crazy creations with food and the people behind Num noms have launched a new campaign #NumNomsCrazyCreation and so I was left to make a tasty but wacky food combination.

Now this is probably not to everyone’s taste and it may sound revolting to some of you. It’s not the type of thing I could eat often or eat a lot of but it did actual work together fairly well. 

This is my very own – Baconana nut sarnie! 


It’s a strange one but very easy to make. All I needed was – bread, bananas, peanut butter and bacon! Yes bacon with banana!!!

There are a few ways to put it altogether. The bread can be toasted first or the whole thing toasted under a grill together which is my preferred method.


It’s best to start with the peanut butter and use according to taste/preference. It’s a good idea to cook the bacon first before peeling and  chopping the banana as bananas tend to develop black spots quickly after chopping them. 

The banana slices go on top of the peanut butter and then add the bacon. Add as much as you like of each. I preferred more banana on mine where as Jordanna only wanted 6 slices and 2 bacon and a good helping of crunchy peanut butter.

I did not use any extra butter or spread on the bread and I cooked the bacon in a George Foreman machine to minimise the grease and fat. 

Once the sandwiches were built, they went under the grill for a few minutes each side in order to make it a crispy bite. 

And that is our #NumNomsCrazyCreation. 

The Pudding Post subscription 

Published May 15, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Yes I can’t get enough of these subscription boxes/services. I just absolutely love them all. 

This one is a new one for me. Yes it’s a recipe/food type box of which I’ve had a few, but this is the first time I’ve had a pudding subscription box.  It’s also the first one I have come across in the UK. 

It’s called The Pudding post and just like the  meal/savoury recipe boxes I was sent all I needed along with a recipe card to make a pudding. This is a monthly subscription and so a different pudding  gets sent monthly. 


This is pretty much how the boxes look. All the ingredients are pre-measured and then vacuum sealed which keeps everything really fresh and prevents squashing in transit. The vacuum packaging also means everything shrinks to fit in a smallish box. 

For my box I got all the ingredients to make a Pear, Hazelnut chocolate torte with ginger biscuit base. If anyone had told me I could make this previously I would of laughed and said no chance! To look at the photograph of it, it looks quite difficult, but it’s fairly easy. 


This pudding involved 3 stages of preparation. The biscuit base, the chocolate mix and the pear poaching. The instructions were really clear throughout and it really helped that everything came already measured. The only things that are not supplied by The pudding post are butter , eggs and of course the water.


My pear peeling went a little “pear shaped” I’m not the best at peeling but they poached just fine and I was able to get a few okay shaped slices from them. 

This is the pudding prior to baking for 40 minutes. 


I used graseproof paper rather than greasing the tin. 

And once baked! 


I am quite impressed by my first attempt at this pudding. The pears are visible on top of the pudding. The top is firm and crumbly and inside is like a gooey brownie, soft, chocolatey and sweet. Ginger chocolate was used along with dark chocolate and poured onto a base of crushed ginger biscuits making it very gingerish.  All the ingredients and flavours work really well together and it tastes amazing. My kids love it too.

The pudding post subscription is £14.85 a mine and will certainly give subscribers something to look forward to each month. 

Fish delivered! Ramus fish box

Published March 24, 2017 by Bizzimummy

I do enjoy eating fish, and I don’t mean the type you get from the chippy. My only problem previously has been cooking and preparing it. But! Being sent a box of lovely fresh fish has changed all that completely. I didn’t even need to go to a store or carry it home and risk smelling fishy as it was delivered to my doorstep. My fish box came from Ramus and they deliver various fish boxes nationwide. 

This photograph shows the full contents of my fish box. In total six different varieties of fish, each packet containing two fillets and also a pot of salmon rub. 

The fish arrives cool with ice but not frozen. It can be kept in the fridge and used within 2/3 days or frozen. I put it all in the freezer to begin with and found that the fillets only take a few hours to defrost when required.


All the fish arrives sealed in individual packets. This box contained sea bass, haddock, salmon, trout, hake and smoked haddock. 

Sea bass is a fish that I have enjoyed in the past but have not had for a while. It can be a very expensive fish to buy and is often found on high end restaurant menus. It is not something I have previously cooked myself and certainly never prepared. I did a bit of research and watched a few videos on how to prepare this full fish fillet. 

Yes this fish came complete with head,eyes, fins and tail on and the last thing I wanted was to do something wrong or eat a part I’m not meant to. A fish with head still on does put me off eating it a bit so the head was the first thing I cut off, followed by the finns and the tail. Then I had to literally slice it open and remove the guts and bones which wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but I got there in the end. 


The silver scales also got scraped to remove any rough bits. I placed some onion inside the fish, with salt and pepper and a bit of oil infused with lemon, wrapped in foil and cooked in the oven for about 25 minutes. Then the fish was cooked to perfection, lovely and flakey and I served with yellow rice, sweet chilli sauce and a bit of mayonnaise. Lovely! 

I will be buying sea bass again as I do like it, tho I may ask them to prepare it for me next time.

The salmon fillets are really easy to cook as it’s already filleted. Salmon can be cooked in so many ways and has a very distinct flavour. I do prefer all my fish grilled or oven cooked. I used the little pot of salmon rub with the fillets. It’s just a seasoning to help enhance the flavour and optional. I enjoy salmon served with pasta, rice or vegetables. Here the salmon is served with sweet potato mash, green beans a little sauce. A very healthy dish. 


Next the smoked haddock fillets. These can be purchased fairly cheap but make a great dinner. Again they can be oven cooked, grilled or fried. This time served with crispy potatoes and green beans. 


I stlll have the rest of the fish in my freezer which I am of course looking forward to using. It’s been really good cooking with fresh fish for a change and something I am hoping to continue to do at least once a week if not more. Fish is of course very healthy and full of good stuff for the body. Served with vegetables and it’s even more healthier and also very tasty. Fish can also be used to make various recipes such as fish pies. 

Jordanna has also enjoyed the fish meals with me as she likes it too. Izebella has tried the fish and Ryan is still as fussy as ever. 

Our Fish box costs £25.00. There are other box selections to choose from on the Ramus website as well as hampers, platters and fish gifts via the online seafood shop.

Healthy meals for less at Aldi

Published February 27, 2017 by Bizzimummy

I don’t shop at Aldi as much as I do other supermarkets. This is mainly because it’s a little further away, but I do go when I can as I find many things cheaper than other places.

I was asked by Aldi recently to create a recipe using only products bought from an Aldi store. And that’s just what I did, in fact I made two.

The first is a healthy salmon pasta salad. I made it with pasta from Aldi along with all of these lovely ingredients (also from Aldi) 

It is one of those recipes where you can pretty much put anything you like with it but this is what I use. 

Pasta shells, salmon flakes, 1 pepper (red), 1 medium onion, 1 avacado and a tub of prawn cocktail.

It’s a simple recipe and perfect for more Summery weather and Bbq’s but I enjoy it any time.

So to make the dish: I boil the pasta until soft (about 10 mins). Chop the pepper and onion. Slice the avacado. Once the pasta is cooked and cooled I add the salad items.


And then in goes the salmon and a little mayonnaise or salad cream, just so it’s not dry. 


Then serve with the prawn cocktail at the side. I think the salmon with prawns goes really well and the salad items make it quite a colourful dish too. It really is tasty.

Next is a more traditional dish – Chicken roast dinner; and again all the ingredients are purchased from Aldi. 

The chicken is a roast in the bag “extra tasty” type. These save mess and greasy hands plus contamination as the bird stays in the bag until cooked. The bag does not even need piercing. The whole thing simply goes onto an oven tray and cooks and any fats get caught in the throw away tray that the bird comes in. 

To make things easier for mums just like me, Aldi has a really good selection of frozen prepared vegetables. They do of course have many fresh vegetables to offer too but the frozen bags just seem to make dinner much easier as the hard work and mess is eliminated (washing, peeling, chopping etc) 


They also have a few varieties of ready made Yorkshire puddings. Izebella loves them and ends up making little pies with them. The bag above cost less than 50p and they tasted just as good as any other.

The frozen mash is great, again no peeling, chopping, boiling or mashing spuds as it’s all done for me. I just tip the frozen potato pieces into a bowl and microwave for about eight minutes, adding butter or milk to the dish gives it a more creamier flavour. It’s nothing like that awful instant powder mash either it’s simply frozen potato.

And we all enjoyed a lovely hot roast dinner. I won’t call it a Sunday dinner because we didn’t have it on a Sunday and I believe that good roast dinners can be enjoyed any day. 

Yes the gravy is from Aldi too!


I had a £20 voucher to shop in Aldi and managed to buy all the ingredients above to make two recipes and more besides including biscuits, fruit, chocolate, sandwich fillers, and more. I find Aldi great value and great tasting foods.

Annabel Karmel’s busy mum cookbook

Published April 9, 2016 by Bizzimummy

  


 It’s always hard to come up with new recipes that don’t take hours to cook. Cooking is nig something I find easy with 3 young children who all like different things. Annabel Karmel knows what it’s like to juggle a busy life too and she has bought out this new cook book to help mums just like me.
The book is packed full of recipes and this includes pasta, salad, meat, poultry, fish, veg dishes and desserts. Many of them come with photographs. 

The book is divided into chapters which include 20 minute recipes, recipes using 6 ingredients, prepare ahead, Lunchboxes and snacks, store cupboard, entertaining and sweets. 

I have been having a good look through at everything and have found that the majority of recipes use ingredients that are easily found in shops and stores so therefore no hunting round for anything difficult. Each one comes with easy step by step instructions and a full ingredients list as well as prep and cooking time. 

The first thing we made is from the “prepare ahead” section. This section gives recipe ideas of meals that can be made in advance and many of them can then be frozen. The meal we made is the “Mediterranean oven baked chicken”   

 
  

We used fillet instead of drumsticks for ours. It’s really easy and just requires the chicken and some vegetables and tomato paste. Ours does look more red in colour than the one in the book, but went down pretty well for our dinner.  

 
 

Of course I just had to attempt something sweet too.   

 
 

This is the berry and white chocolate tart. It’s made like a cheesecake with a biscuit base and cream plus fruit on top. Unfortunaly I could not find any blueberries so this one just ended up with raspberries and chocolate on top. It’s delicious.  
 
 

There are lots and lots of other tasty looking things to make in this book. Ryan loves it too and is already deciding on what to make next.
The book was published just last month (Feb 2016) it has an RRP of £20.00.

McCain back to normality campaign

Published March 8, 2016 by Bizzimummy

McCain have launched the back to normality campaign to help mums and dads get back into the full swing of the school routine and mid-week teas for the new year.

As part of the initiative, they created a Back To Normal pack and I was sent one over to try out for our own family teatimes. The pack contained  an oven tray, serving tongs, oven gloves, enamel plate, egg timer and a £20 supermarket gift card of my choice. 

Also in the pack were some recipe ideas but I was able to make anything I wanted. The recipes sounded good but not really anything that all my kids would eat together. Anyway off to the shops I went and look at all of these McCain goodies that I managed to pick up, along with some other bits.  

 
There are lots of potato products here to keep us going. I did have my eye on the new “peri peri” fries but I know none of my children would eat them so instead I picked up – southern fries, hash browns, smiles, micro chips and ridge cut beef flavour fries.

My kids can be fussy so I try to make things that they will all eat but try keep it fairly healthy at the same time. 

First meal is chicken Kiev with the southern fries and peas. The fries have a lovely seasoned flavour.

 
Second – Pork chops, sausage, sweetcorn and the beef ridge cut fries. 

 
The new beef fries were a big hit in our home. We all enjoyed the lovely flavour and texture.

Our third meal is a home made chicken tikka curry with rice and a few smileys.

I think all kids love the smiley face potato shapes. 

 
The microwave chips are loved by Ryan who is a very fussy eater at times. 

 
These are very easy. Just a few minutes in the microwave and not soggy like some microwave chips can be. The portions are small but just right for him.

We have enjoyed cooking with the McCain potato products.

Three little pigs: Top notch chorizo 

Published November 5, 2015 by Bizzimummy

  
When thinking of chorizo you probably think straight away of Spain, this particular chorizo happens to be a little closer to home and a little northwards from sunny Bolton in Yorkshire. 

Yorkshire is no stranger to bold, robust flavours: home of the UK’s rhubarb triangle, Wensleydale cheese, the original ginger beer and the timeless Pontefract cake. And yet it was probably in 2009 that Yorkshire put its best foot forward with the arrival of three little pigs chorizo, a culinary masterstroke from the Clarkson family of Kiplingcotes Farm.

Despite being worldly wise, 5th generation farmers, it was the arrival of an unexpected wedding present in the guise of a rare breed sow (Berkshire pig) that first alerted Charlotte & Jon to the exciting potential of producing top-notch cured meats with a ‘Yorkshire twist.’
According to co-founder Charlotte, the Berkshire’s superior taste arises from the fact that free-range, rare breed pigs take an extra four months to reach full maturity. Throw in the fact that the Clarkson pigs consume no GM feed, quaff mineral water from the farm’s onsite well and fill their nostrils with only the finest Yorkshire air and you begin to get a real sense of what makes three little pigs so special.
And that’s the story of this rare breed chorizo, of which I received a nice sized sample to try got myself.  

 
Chorizo isn’t really something I’m familiar cooking with, but after scouring the web for ideas I finally settled on making a chorizo and onion omelette and here is how I did it.

Ingredients

6 eggs, chorizo, 2 medium onions, mixed peppers, mixed spices, pepper, chopped garlic. 

 
Method

Chop and fry the chorizo, add onions, garlic, pepper, fry together for 10 minutes. 

 Meanwhile beat the 6 eggs together, add spices and salt, pepper. 

 Pour egg mixture over chorizo and other ingredients, leave for approximately 6-8 minutes. If mixture is still runny then bake in oven for 2-3 minutes.

And in 15 minutes or so it was done. 

 
The chorizo has a very rich and slightly spicy flavour. It’s not over spiced so it burns the mouth but certainly has a kick to it. It’s also very filling and especially so with the other ingredients in this recipe. 

The chorizo comes with an outer skin which needs peeling off and can be a little tricky.

  • Recommended retail price £6.99- £7.99

  • Now available online via AGA Foodhalls and The Courtyard Dairy

  • Available Wholefoods, Partridges, Selfridges and the Co-op

More information at Three little pigs

Kents Kitchen meal kits 

Published April 6, 2015 by Bizzimummy

Being a single parent of 3 means I rarely have time to cook myself a nice meal that I enjoy from scratch. I love spicy foods such as curries but making them from scratch is usually time consuming. Then there’s the issue of having no one to share it with and making too much which will just end up binned. Well  Kents Kitchen have bought out an easy solution in the form of very tasty and easy meal kits.  

There are many to choose from including several well known traditional curries, oriental dishes, Chilli con carne and a few other dishes which I am not so familiar with. I have been sent over two meal kits and both of them happen to be curries which I really like.  

These kits are quite small in size and take up very little cupboard space (unlike the large jars). There is also minimal packaging and therefore less waste. 

The kits comprise of 3 little pots. In the case of the curries it’s usually an oil (for frying the meat in), a curry paste and an infused spice mix.  

Each pack comes with a pull off label explaining what ingredients are needed to make the dish and the method on reverse. 

In this post I am making the chicken jalfrezi which is one of my favourite curries (tho I usually order rather than make it). As well as the meal kit pots, I also needed – Chicken fillet, onion, green pepper, and a tin of chopped tomatoes. The packet does give required amounts but this can be adjusted for more people or in my case less.  

First I had to fry the chicken and onions with the garlic oil pot. This was very strong, lots of garlic aromas in my kitchen. Once the chicken was browning I added the curry paste and green peppers.  

Then the spice mix and tomatoes and left to cook for a further 6 minutes or so. The spice aromas were very strong and the dish was looking very colourful.  

The Jalfrezi took about 15 minutes in total to cook. It was very spicy and full of delicious flavour. As I made it myself I know exactly what has gone into it – lots of fresh ingredients.  

I am looking forward to making the Spicy Korma too. 

Each meal kit requires different ingredients such as meats, fish and vegetables, sometimes yoghurt too. However the ingredients do seem to be simple things that are found in most supermarkets and nothing that is hard to get hold of. 

Kents Kitchen also sell a selection of easy meal Pasta pots, posh noodles, sauces, gravies, stuffings and stockpots. Visit Kents Kitchen to see more. 

  

Debbie & Andrews Perfect Pork Sausages

Published March 11, 2015 by Bizzimummy

The lovely people over at Debbie & Andrews kindly sent us over one of their new family bumper packs of their  Perfect Pork sausages. These award winning sausages are just bursting with meatiness. They are very big, thick and meaty and just how a good English sausage should be. The ingredients inside are best minced pork meat which is lightly seasoned and bound with specially baked breadcrumbs.

One of these big bumper packs contains 10 sausages. The pack is perfect for family’s. Asda is currently offering 2 bumper packs for just £7.00 too. The sausages can be frozen on day of purchase and defrosted when needed which is exactly what I did on the day they arrived.

With my sausages came a sausage recipe book with 30 recipes. 

This lit’ll book gave me a bit of inspiration to make something different with the sausages than what I normally would do. Without the book j would probably have made an English breakfast, but not this time.  – This time I chose to make a Sausage Roast, which with some tweaking turned into more of a Sausage casserole and without the use of any packets. 

Here’s how I made it!

Ingredients

1 bumper pack of Perfect pork sausage (I used 7 out of the pack)

2 small onions

Red pepper, yellow pepper

Half a butternut squash

Tin of tomatoes



Method

 •Preheat oven to 180C

•Chop all of the vegetables into chunks and place in a casserole dish.

•Cut the sausages into bite size pieces and add to dish

•Add tin of tomatoes, seasoning and mix well. 

•Finally pop in the oven for approximately 1 hour. Then serve and enjoy.

I was so hungry by the time it was cooked that I completely forgot to take a photograph of it cooked in the dish. By the time I remembered it was all dished out with some mash potato but luckily not eaten. 

It was delicious and is something I intend on making again. Very easy and quite healthy too with all the lovely vegetables. I thought ours tastes better than the packet versions too and am actually quite proud of myself for making this. Jordanna and Izebella enjoyed it and Jordanna wants it again. I knew Ryan would not eat it so he got a nice sausage Toastie instead with the 3 remaining sausages. There’s No point me even attempting to get him to try vegetables. 

This is one of those dishes that you can add whatever you wish too. The sausages were just delicious and cooked perfect in the oven.

Visit  Debbie & Andrews to find out more and view other products.

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